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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Cupid or Eros||View Options:  |  |  | 

Cupid or Eros

Cupid to the Romans, Eros to the Greeks, is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is the son of goddess Venus and god Mars. In popular culture, Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day. Today he is the personification of love and courtship in general.

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VII| |Euergetes| |Sidetes,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||AE| |18|
After his brother Demetrius was captured by the Parthians, Antiochus VII was made king. He married Demetrius' wife Cleopatra Thea. He defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus, the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulcher and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II. His brother Demetrius II had by then been released, but the Seleucid realm was now restricted to Syria. Antiochus VII was the last Seleucid king of any stature.
GY110206. Bronze AE 18, Houghton-Lorber II 2067(5)c; Babelon 1097; SNG Spaer 1912; HGC 9 1087; BMC Seleucid p. 74, 55 var. (star vice palm), VF, dark tone, earthen deposits, obverse edge beveled, weight 5.687 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 137 - 136 B.C.; obverse bust of winged Eros right; reverse headdress of Isis, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two downward lines on the right, EYEPΓETOY downward on left, outer left, palm frond over ΣOP (year 176 of the Seleucid Era) below; $70.00 (64.40)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
This type was a special military coinage produced by Caesar during his final campaign. This campaign against the Pompeian forces in Spain culminated in the battle of Munda on 17 March 45 B.C. The obverse refers to Caesar's mythical descent from the goddess Venus. The reverse refers to Caesar's victories in Gaul and the male Gaulish captive may be Vercingetorix.
RS50608. Silver denarius, Crawford 468/1, Sydenham 1014, RSC I 13, BMCRR Spain 89, Sear CRI 58, SRCV I 1404, Choice VF, weight 4.110 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 45o, Spanish mint, 46 - 45 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, small Cupid behind; reverse trophy of Gallic arms; on left, Gallia seated left with hand to head in attitude of morning; on right, male (Vercingetorix?) captive seated right, hands bound behind, looking up; CAESAR in exergue; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
This type was a special coinage struck by a military mint traveling with Caesar in Hispania during his final campaign. This campaign against the Pompeian forces in Spain culminated in the battle of Munda on 17 March 45 B.C. The obverse refers to Caesar's mythical descent from the goddess Venus. The reverse refers to Caesar's victories in Gaul and the Gaulish captive may be Vercingetorix.
SH65209. Silver denarius, Crawford 468/2, Sydenham 1015, RSC I 14, Kestner 3644, BMCRR Spain 86, Russo RBW 1640, Sear CRI 59, SRCV I 1405, gVF, sharp detail, scratches, encrustation, weight 3.756 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 45o, late 46 - early 45 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Venus left, wearing stephane and star in her hair, small Cupid at point of bust, lituus left on left, scepter on right; reverse trophy of Gallic arms and carnyces; Gallic captive, on left, kneeling left, head right; Gallia, on right, seated right in attitude of mourning; CAESAR in exergue; military mint traveling with Caesar in Hispania; SOLD


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C.

|Julius| |Caesar|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |Imperator| |and| |Dictator,| |October| |49| |-| |15| |March| |44| |B.C.||denarius|
This type was a special military coinage produced by Caesar during his final campaign. This campaign against the Pompeian forces in Spain culminated in the battle of Munda on 17 March 45 B.C. The obverse refers to Caesar's mythical descent from the goddess Venus. The reverse refers to Caesar's victories in Gaul and the male Gaulish captive may be Vercingetorix.
SL74867. Silver denarius, Crawford 468/1, Sydenham 1014, RSC I 13, BMCRR Spain 89, Sear CRI 58, SRCV I 1404, NGC XF, strike 4/5, surface 4/5 (2490379-001), weight 3.987 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 90o, Spanish mint, 46 - 45 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, small Cupid behind; reverse trophy of Gallic arms; on left, Gallia seated left with hand to head in attitude of morning; on right, male (Vercingetorix?) captive seated right, hands bound behind, looking back and up; CAESAR in exergue; NGC| Lookup; SOLD


Roman Republic, Manius Fonteius C.f., c. 85 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Manius| |Fonteius| |C.f.,| |c.| |85| |B.C.||denarius|
Vejovis is a little-known Italian deity. He was worshiped in a temple on the Capitol in Rome. The reverse most likely depicts a statue that was beside the statue of Vejovis in the temple. This statue may refer to the infancy of Jupiter who was suckled by the goat Amaltheia on Mount Ida.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
RR75243. Silver denarius, Crawford 353/1a, Sydenham 724, RSC I Fonteia 9, BMCRR I Rome 2476, Russo RBW 1350, SRCV I 271, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, nicely toned, a few light scratches, weight 3.813 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 85 B.C.; obverse MN FONTEI C F (MN and NT in monogram) downward behind, laureate head of Vejovis right, thunderbolt below neck truncation, Roma monogram below chin; reverse Cupid seated on goat right, caps of the Dioscuri above, thyrsus of Bacchus in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Naville auction 9, lot 175, ex Tkalec sale 2006, 106, ex NAC 46 (April 2008), lot 369; SOLD


Roman Republic, Manius Fonteius C.f., c. 85 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Manius| |Fonteius| |C.f.,| |c.| |85| |B.C.||denarius|
Vejovis is a little-known Italian deity. He was worshiped in a temple on the Capitol in Rome. The reverse most likely depicts a statue that was beside the statue of Vejovis in the temple. This statue may refer to the infancy of Jupiter who was suckled by the goat Amaltheia on Mount Ida.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
RR95406. Silver denarius, Russo RBW 1352, Crawford 353/1d, Sydenham 724b, RSC I Fonteia 11, BMCRR I Rome 2481, SRCV I 271, EF, toned, slightly off center on a tight flan, weight 4.049 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, c. 85 B.C.; obverse MN FONTEI C F (MN and NT ligate), laureate head of Vejovis right, thunderbolt below neck truncation, Roma monogram right; reverse Cupid seated on goat right, flanked by caps of the Dioscuri, thyrsus of Bacchus in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Forum (2009), fabulous reverse, scarcer variety with the caps flanking the goat vice above; SOLD


Roman Republic, L. Cornelius Sulla, 84 - 83 B.C.

|Sulla|, |Roman| |Republic,| |L.| |Cornelius| |Sulla,| |84| |-| |83| |B.C.||denarius|
Struck by a military mint traveling with Sulla in the east after his successful campaign against Mithradates VI. Venus was the patron goddess of Sulla. The two trophies of captured arms on the reverse advertise his two acclamations as imperator by his troops. With this, his first issue, Sulla was the first imperator to issue coinage to pay his legions without the authority of the senate, consequently breaking an important connection between the military and the government. Breaking another taboo, the types were overt propaganda advertising his personal power and accomplishments. Sulla's monetary "innovations" set the example for later imperators and contributed to Rome's transformation from republic to empire.
RR71323. Silver denarius, RSC Cornelia 29, Crawford 359/2, Sydenham 761, BMCRR East 3, SRCV I 276, aVF, both sides off-center but nearly all detail on flan, weight 3.682 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, mobile military mint, 84 - 83 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Venus right, Cupid standing left holding long palm frond before, LSVLLA below; reverse capis and lituus between two trophies of captured arms, IMPER above, ITERVM below; scarce; SOLD


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

|Serdica|, |Geta,| |209| |-| |c.| |26| |December| |211| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace||AE| |18|
The figure on the reverse is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP85917. Bronze AE 18, Moushmov 4929, H-J Serdica 12.22.16.1 (R4) var. (rev. leg.), Varbanov III 2527 var. (same), SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, VF, well centered and struck, dark patina, porous, small edge cracks, weight 3.415 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 225o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, c. 198 - 209 A.D.; obverse Λ CEΠT ΓETAC K, bare headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse OVΛΠI CEPΔIK, Thanatos standing half right, legs crossed, leaning on inverted extinguished torch set on altar; very rare variant; SOLD







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